Numbers Never Lie: 5 important numbers from Arizona's win
No. 17 Arizona men’s basketball defeated Oregon State 62-53 on Thursday night. Take a look at 5 numbers that give insight as to how the game unfolded.
That was Arizona’s first half point total against the Beavers. The slow start marks back-to-back games that Arizona has had a lackluster first half as it put up just 25 points against Colorado last Saturday. The Wildcats shot 9-24 from the floor and 2-18 from 3-point range against Oregon State in the first half.
“Team are slowing the game down against us,” junior guard Allonzo Trier said. “Really taking their time on offense, having really long possessions and then, you know, everybody’s been playing us pretty much all zone, matchup zone, trying to slow us down.”
Arizona almost doubled its offensive output in the second half and it needed in to order to defeat the Beavers. This time, the second half surge was enough to lift the Wildcats as Allonzo Trier had 15 points and 4-8 shooting and five free throws in the last 20 minutes to lead the charge.
“Obviously in the first half, we struggled to score the ball,” sophomore guard Rawle Alkins said. “We were trying to figure out how to score against their matchup zone… but I thought in the second half, we picked it up.”
Arizona head coach Sean Miller thought the team “adjusted to their (Oregon State’s) zone a little bit easier,” in the second half.
The Wildcats got to the line 15 times in the second half and made 11 free throws after going just 1-1 in the first half. Nine of the free throws came at 6:25 or later in the second half, propelling Arizona in the closing moments.
Consistent free throw shooting has played a part in several Arizona wins this year, including against ASU and Utah.
7-1 freshman Deandre Ayton recorded his 12th double-double of the season on Thursday. That ties the Arizona freshman record which was set by Al Fleming in 1972-73 and Michael Wright in 1998-99. Ayton will have a chance to be in a league of his own on Saturday against Oregon.
The Wildcat defense forced eight turnovers in the second half and 15 total. Some of the turnovers led to monstrous dunks from Alkins, Ayton and Trier. Meanwhile, the Wildcats themselves only had three turnovers offensively in the second half.
“The best offense is good defense,” Alkins said.
Sean Miller agreed with him.
“In the second half, our defense sparked our offense,” Miller said.
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